The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) in the Central Region has expressed worry over the huge debt owed it by individuals and state institutions.
According to the company, the debt owed by its customers as of October 2021, was GH¢134,702,042, with GHS 42 million alone being owned by private individuals.
The water distribution company lamented that its operations have been hampered due to such challenges.
“The arrears level as far as those who owe Ghana Water Company in the Central Region stands at GH¢134,072,000 with the private individuals alone owing us to the tune of GH¢42,000,000. The rest is for both public and private institutions,” Central Regional Manager of the water distribution company Ing. Thomas Amenya told Citi News.
Speaking to Citi News at the Regional stakeholders’ dialogue organised by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), Regional Distribution Manager for GWCL Ing. Thomas Amenya urged institutions and persons who owe them to settle their bills to help them deliver on their mandate.
“The lack of money is hindering the delivery of quality service to the general public, and it is interesting to know that government institutions and some private persons are the ones who owe us these monies. We need these monies to carry out our abstraction and treatment of raw water. So all that we are saying is that pay us these monies to enable us to serve our customers better,” the Regional Distribution Manager said.
The Electricity Company of Ghana in the Region, on the other hand, also expressed worry over the high level of unauthorized extension of electricity supply, which they say is affecting their operations in the region.
“The unauthorized extension of electricity is affecting our production and costing us a lot of money. We sometimes have these roadside electricians who go to our substations and do these connections, and they don’t use the right materials which tend to destroy our transformers,” Regional Engineer of ECG Ing. George Amoah said.
He again explained that they are also faced with land challenges, making it difficult for them to mount their poles and other equipment.
“Land acquisition is also a big challenge, and it has stalled a lot of projects. A project which is supposed to take ECG three years to complete will take us about five years and this is worrying,” the Regional Engineer said.
Head of Public Relations and External Affairs of PURC, Bawa Munkaila told Citi News the commission is aware of the situation and is putting measures in place to address it.
“We are aware of the challenges utility providers go through and the revenue shortfalls in their operations, but we are side by side with government working to address these challenges,” the head of Public Relations and External Affairs of the commission said.
“In fact, it is one of the reasons we organised this stakeholder workshop to also deliberate on ways of making the utility providers work effectively. In the case of the government sectors owing these utility providers, it is a matter of government owing government, but we are working with the government to find a way of paying back,” Bawa Munkaila said.
He indicated that the PURC is working assiduously to ensure that service providers deliver on their mandate, while the recipient of the service also appreciates by paying back for service rendered.
“As PURC, our core mandate is to satisfy the interest of both the utility service provider and the consuming public. So if we realize as a commission that there is a gap we come in as a commission, and we factor in some of these concerns and find a lasting solution to it,” Bawa Munkaila told Citi News.
GWCL drags 28 water bill defaulters at Cape Coast and Elmina to court
The GWCL had taken a number of defaulters who failed to pay their water bills in Cape Coast and Elmina to court to retrieve their money.
28 defaulters have so far been taken to the Cape Coast District Court and Elmina Magistrate Court, respectively, to be prosecuted.
The customers are indebted to the company for between six months and three years.
Lawyer for GWCL, Isaac Aggrey Fynn, maintained the customers owe the company GH¢305,000.